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    Carter Holt Harvey IPO stalls as Westfarmers enters buyers mix

    Nathan Johnson

    Wood products and building supplies company Carter Holt Harvey Group (CHH) has stalled plans to publicly list and sell their shares on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

    CHH previously announced in May that it would sell its shares in an initial public offering (IPO) in mid-2015 before having them floated on the NZ and AUS exchanges.

    The IPO, which was expected to value the company at around $1 billion, has now been put on hold following changes in market conditions in recent weeks which the company said provided a level of uncertainty to their earnings outlook.

    "The new CHH board, in conjunction with the group's advisers, determined they were unable to finalise the forecasts in the IPO offer document given the necessary level of confidence required as to the forecasts' accuracy and probability of being achieved," the company said in a statement.

    "Accordingly, until these circumstances become clearer, the IPO of CHH has been put on hold."

    The Australian newspaper has reported that the delay is linked to discussions between CHH and Wesfarmers, which owns the Bunnings Warehouse chain and may be considering the purchase of the company's distribution arm, Carter Holt Harvey Building Supplies (NZ).

    The Australian said the CHH listing had been placed on hold while talks continued with Wesfarmers and that the IPO would now happen in the third or fourth quarter of this year should a deal with Wesfarmers fail to eventuate.

    Carter's building supplies unit is one of three divisions in the company owned by billionaire Graeme Hart's Rank Group, which also includes Woodproducts Australia and Woodproducts New Zealand.

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